FREE PRACTICE SESSIONS SET THE PACE
The 84 teams entered at the Suzuka 8 Hours were divided into two groups, and completed two free practice sessions earlier today. Riders rapidly clocked very fast times to set the pace.
The times set during the practice sessions are an early indicator of qualifying times.
The Yamaha Factory Racing Team entry with Japanese rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga and the two MotoGP riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith was quickest right from the outset, with a 2.07.282. The bike was nearly a full second ahead of Toho Racing with Moriwaki’s Honda featuring Tatsuya Yamaguchi and former MotoGP riders Toni Elias and Ratthapark Wilairot.
No fewer than six bikes lapped in the 2’08, among them the Honda Musashi RT Harc-Pro featuring the Australian Casey Stoner.
The permanent teams are not far behind. While the Yamaha GMT94 clocked the quickest time with a 2.10.094, several bikes lapped in the same second. The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, Team SRC Kawasaki, Honda Endurance Racing and BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com are at a few thousandths of a second.
Qualifying tomorrow promises some feisty battles: all the more so if the weather—a mixed bag today—turns out hot and sunny as forecast.